Things I’ve Learned About Recovery

Indulge me.  Some of these are actually funny.  And if I’m whining too much, just tell me so.  The Ambulatory Mollusc will have book plugs later.  For now, here are some surprising things I’ve learned about recovery.  ((Mind you, I’ve had major surgery — Caesarean — once before, but then there was a new born and also I was recovering from Pre-eclampsia, so the entire time is foggy.  I have a vague memory it was a year before I could get up before noon, which clearly isn’t the case now.)

1- Even while not on Opiates, my brain is dropping and/or forgetting things.  It’s like a preview of dementia.  Mind you I’m normally scatterbrained while writing, so the family might not see any difference, but it bugs me.

2- Having a sixteen pound cat jump on you might cause major damage.

3- My men have really weird ideas of where things go in the kitchen.

4- When Disney comics become too intricate to follow, it’s time for a nap.

5- my natural writing-burst length has become a 100 words.  Don’t like.  Contains live bobcat.  Would not order again.

6- Cabin fever strikes even while I’m sick.

7 – I need a minder.

7a- I need a minder because I can never remember when I last took the meds I’m supposed to be on.  That one of these falls in the night is a problem, as I often dream I took it.  I’m counting pills a lot.

7b- I need a minder because if I get even slightly tired, I’m exactly like other people when drunk.  (Explanation — when drunk, unless there’s complications, like pills I forgot I’d taken — I just become relentlessly dry and logical)  I.e. last night the “Hillary wiped her server” set me off and I spent the rest of the evening manufacturing increasingly goofy memes with bad Hillary pictures until I couldn’t see.  Could have been worse.  I could have put on a snazzy hat and gone directing traffic at a nearby intersection.  This seems to be what drunk people do in Portugal.

7c – I need a minder because logic isn’t working right, so I make the weirdest leaps in thought, and then can’t retrace them.  This led to the famous “where’s your antibiotic, Sarah?”  “Don’t know.  Might have given it to a passing stranger.”

8 – It seemed perfectly logical for me to assume that my doctor was delusional when she said it turned into abdominal (non laparoscopic) surgery.  I couldn’t find the scar, so I thought she’d dreamed it (hey, seemed reasonable.  Remember I was high as a kite.)  Well, lost some weight, found the incision, which is bigger than my Caeserean one.  Of course now it hurts.  I hate my mind so much.

9- I have less will power.
This is a problem whether the thing I need will power for is not eating the wrong stuff or not snapping some idiot’s head off on facebook.  Yeah, I probably should stay off facebook, or at least off arguments.

10 – I am a freak of nature.  My dad, with whom I get very well along otherwise, used to introduce me to people with “This is my daughter, she doesn’t like TV”  I think he evolved it as a way of warning people that small talk about soap operas or detective serials wouldn’t work.  However the effect was more “See the two headed freak.”  Normally this doesn’t bother anyone, except sometimes Dan has to point out I wouldn’t know actors if they bit me in the *ss.  Because asking me “You KNOW, John Von Blob, wasn’t he in Three Sheets To The Wind?” Just gets you a blank look.  So, how does this tie in to the situation?
Apparently the way most Americans recover from surgery is a movie-coma.  Everyone and their brothers is recommending series/other stuff.

a) I’m not visual. This means it takes me more effort to CARE about the story on the screen.  Most of the stuff I’ve “watched” (Buffy was the last one to catch me, I think) I actually “listen” to, because I’m doing something else, with occasional glances at the screen.

b) Most tv has embedded Marxist messages which most of you might not get.  But I was bitten by Marxist dialectic early in life.  So I see them.  And then I want to throw stuff through the TV.  Besides the fact this would make Dan sad, think what it would do to my incisions.

c) TRUST me when I say if you know how to plot a book most tv plots are so predictable it makes your eyes glaze.  Now, if this is something like “love affair predictable” that’s fine.  But most of those have those pesky messages.  See b.

d) Most of what I enjoy watching are mystery series/movies, and I’ve watched all of those I can tolerate.

11 – I can write, I just need to watch it because of those weird leaps of logic, so I can’t write anything I care about just now.  This has led to some experimental stuff.  (No, I’m not sharing.  Well, maybe if you’re very good.)

12- This too shall pass.  Eventually I’ll get the other house done, with directing the guys or not, and it will be for sale.  Eventually novels will be finished (well maybe not Through Fire.  Might be cursed.

In the mean time, I’ll wend my loopy, ill-controlled way to recovery.  There’s going to be a lot of documentaries, Disney comics, stupid memes (some even non-political) and cat pictures, though.

Bear with me.bear it



258 responses to “Things I’ve Learned About Recovery

      • As for #3, that is true even when you aren’t recovering.

        • This is true, but I’ve never seen it in such glorious action for this long. For instance, I keep forks and desert forks separated because the only way I can tell the difference is to compare them. (Not that I care, but they do, if I set the table with desert forks.) Guess what they’ve done 😉

          • The Cake is a Lie! Or, er, does eating with a dessert fork make everything taste like cake?

            • Thinks of salmon yesterday. Not markedly, no.

              • Salmon cake… shudders. Although on Iron Chef (goofy TV show, I know) they made tuna ice cream once. Which requires a little mind bleach.

                • sanfordbegley

                  You had no problem with fish cakes when you ate the Portuguese recipe Sarah sent you to blog about, no when I made salmon cakes for dinner a couple of months ago

                • Oh, yeah. Robert loves Iron Chef.

                • ? Salmon cake is a standard cheap tasty dish where I grew up. It doesn’t have sugar.

                  • Charles — she means DESSERT cake, since I was discussing dessert forks.

                  • She grew up in Alaska, I think she’s had the NORMAL salmon cake.
                    And she’s not Japanese, so stuff like “Sweet squid ice cream” doesn’t appeal to her.

                    • I’d try sweet squid ice cream. I’ll eat almost anything once (but not balut. I won’t eat that).

                    • Professor Badness

                      Does the fact that “Sweet squid ice cream” sounds good to me make me more of a gourmand, or a glutton?
                      Not that I’m overly worried about it.

                    • Sorry. Working an eight hour day, and woke up with right brain migraine partially blinding me on left side, and now have left brain migraine partially blinding me on RIGHT side.

                    • Charles;

                      Oof! Been there, done that, got the shirt, and it shrank in the wash

                      Seriously; i’ve done workdays through really miserable headache (but I could still function, and I had commitments). I don’t remember a lot from most of ’em, though I’m apparently very soft spoken and gentle and a little scary. I do remember one day at a mall job telling some idiot teen who was copping an attitude that he could move or go over the rail (2nd floor), I didn’t care. I was practically whispering, so he had to lean in close and he leaned back right quickly.

                      Don’t think I saw him again at that mall….

                    • I’ve been to Japan. That thing about squid ice cream? It’s just to scare the tourists. Now octopus balls?, yum.

                    • @Cedar: I’m Filipino, and I’m one of the ones who won’t eat balut. Not even the one that doesn’t have an embryo or fully formed chick in there. I don’t like the smell.

                      I also won’t eat asucena/asusena (not sure how it’s spelled.)

                    • overgrownhobbit

                      If you like savory for dessert, a good salmon cake a dollop of creme fraiche & dill, would be a treat. Or lobster bisque. Mmmmm… Bisque….

                  • I was making a joke. Dessert Salmon Cake would be… not as tasty as the savoury sort.

                    • Not unless you could somehow work it in with the brown sugar glaze. But how to make that work with cake? I mean, a brown sugar & mustard glazed salmon crepe, with a little blanched asparagus I could see.

                      But cake? Um. No.

                    • Well, there’s cake as in “flat baked thing, probably savory, but sometimes including sweet flavors.” Like crabcakes, or fishcake. As you point out, a lot of these have sweet glazes or ingredients, so this isn’t impossible.

                      And then there’s cake as in “made out of flour, sugar, eggs, and a leavening agent.” Which would be a little more difficult to do with fish as an ingredient, but not impossible. But you’d have to start by pureeing the fish, I guess, and you’d need a lot of eggs to keep it together. It’d probably end up more like a pudding cake, except it would be a sort of salmon mousse pudding.

                    • And then there’s cake as in “a block of compacted or congealed matter”, such as yellowcake or C4.

                    • Professor Badness

                      And now my mouth is watering.
                      Thank You!

                    • suburbanbanshee, would those eggs be fish eggs? Not much yolk, unless maybe “chicken of the sea” eggs.

                    • To the best of my admittedly low amount of knowledge, fish eggs do not act as a binding agent for food. So I was thinking chicken eggs.

                • Oooh, there’s another Bad Documentary Alternative.

  1. sanfordbegley

    Sarah I truly understand your lack of understanding or caring whether John Van Blarghh was in this movie or that serial

  2. I ordered the BBC’s Black Adder soundtracks some years back and found they work amazingly well. There is so much funny embedded in that show that loss of the visual actually helps focus attention on the script and line readings.

    Another while in recovery trick is to watch old familiar movies, the cinematic equivalent of visiting old friends, films which you can virtually quote verbatim and which you can be confident won’t suddenly surprise you with jarring elements. Be aware that for every movie moment that has you muttering “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” there is probably a moment which will find you standing on a chair singing la Marseillaise.

    N.B. — those who find Black Adder seriously unfunny are advised to avoid my recommendations in such matters. In my experience individuals’ senses of humour are as idiosyncratic as their digestive tracts and are equally likely to produce socially embarrassing eruptions.

    • Oh, yes, on old familiars. I’ve been meaning to spend an afternoon with the A & E Pride and Prejudice, revisit Columbus and of course 1776. I’m just waiting till I’m not so likely to dose off in the middle.

      • The whole idea of such viewing is that you can doze through portions of it without losing the plot. Any movies (or TV program) which you can walk in on at any frame and proclaim “I know this movie!” is grist for this mill.

        The lists of such films varies by person/household, of course, but I have found the opening hour of The Magnificent 7, all of The Great Escape, all of 1776 Quigley Down Under, Silverado and almost any Astaire/Rogers musical serve this purpose. John Ford and Howard Hawks (Only Angels Have Wings, Red River and Rio Bravo in particular) movies are also superb options The point is not to try to follow the plot so much as to enjoy the moments.

        I admit I learned this technique while working in a movie theatre, during which period my job duties included stepping into any of 8 screening rooms to monitor audience behaviour and screening conditions (given the tendencies of certain projectionists to drink while working.) I discovered that many movies are actually more enjoyable when watched inside-out, trying to piece the plot together from disjointed scenes.

      • You might want to go to Internet Movie Data Base and check out the teaser trailer for “Spectre,” the new James Bond movie. It’s like no trailer I’ve ever seen for this series, no action scenes, it’s all dialogue and creepy plot implications.

        • A James Bond movie with plot implications, much less a plot? Is that allowed?

          I wish that once, before Desmond Llewellyn was too old, they had done a story where Q got kidnapped by your typical high-tech Bond villian, and ended up re-wiring the clowns hollowed out volcano HQ. Bomd parachutes in to discover that Q already has that part in hand, and Bond can rush off,the rescue the girl and stop the doomsday device.

          • I recollect a reviewer commenting on one Bond movie that all you really needed was the opening sequence. After the title credits the rest was just filler.

        • One of the reasons it got my attention was, the beginning of the movie seems to use the backstory of the short story “Octopussy.” (which bears little resemblance to the movie.) And a check of the credits confirmed that the character Bond talks to has the same last name as Bond’s mentor in the short story.

          • CASINO ROYAL and SKYFALL were both slightly plot driven, and damn good. QUANTUM OF SOLACE was such a mess it’s kind of hard to tell. I have hopes for SPECTRE.

    • I would also suggest The Intergalactic Nemesis, since even though it’s video, the original concept was old-school radio dramas. The video adds to the experience but it is in no way necessary to enjoy the show.

      Plus it’s deliberately designed to be 1930s-style pulp. It’s gloriously funny.

  3. re: #2
    I have noticed that cats have an unerring instinct for landing precisely where you don’t want them. This includes surgical incisions, major bruises, strained joints and the exact paragraph you are reading in that newspaper you’ve spread out on the floor.

    OTOH, they are cats which justifies and excuses a great deal.

  4. Save possibly #2 and #3, your other problems fall into the category I call inadequate interrupt handlers, or too many thought threads to follow.
    Now, any reader of this site has practice of retracing tangents while we ponder things like: How a bear got into the taxi? Fish! What is the current status of the carp trebuchet? Does desert have to use a long fork if there is no sugar in it? Could anything without sugar possibly be desert? And this post is light. Wait until this evening, there will be at least 10X the number of threads to follow.
    Pain: Dealing with it takes lots of processing, holding muscles, anticipating movement, ignoring the pain…
    Pills: Which ones did I take when. Try a schedule of one pill every 4 hours, one every 6 hours and a third pill every 8 hours. This will have anyone babbling insane in a day or two.
    Forgetful, scatter brained, diminished writing skills: These are the symptoms of your brain working overtime on pain and pills. The cabin fever is your normal body and normal routing remembering the time when you weren’t in bed worrying about pain and pills.
    Save those skewed logic stories. Later, you can just write a few SJW themes between the different clips, publish under a pseudonym and win a Hugo.
    The only concern from what you listed is spending too much time with Hillary pictures. Find one of those sites with the butts of fat women at Wal-Mart. That is a much safer visual to subject your mind to than Hillary’s face.

    • Ditto on the pill thing. My current cardio prescriptions make breakfast look like Thanksgiving at the Jetsons…

    • “Try a schedule of one pill every 4 hours, one every 6 hours and a third pill every 8 hours.”

      Oh, that’s easy. Lots of small plastic bottles or boxes. One set label “midnight”, “6 AM”, “Noon”, “6 PM”. Another “midnight”, “8 AM”, “4 PM”, and so on. Then load ’em up. Then clock-watch, of course. This is how I do it for my wife, who takes something like 9 or 14 prescriptions daily. Or, of course, ya can just go insane — there may be something to say in favor of that….

    • One of my aunts had something like that schedule during her last years. She used a pill box with lots of small compartments, a time written on each, and kept filling them as they emptied. The point was that she didn’t have to remember a daily schedule, just what pills went into which compartment, and then she took what was in it at the time written on it. Seemed to work pretty well.

      • I feel stupid because it’s only two tablets. I mean, I take vitamins when I remember, but right now, it’s a pain pill and an antibiotic. So I shouldn’t be this confused. But the antibiotic has to be worked in around meals, because it can’t be taken with calcium or iron (And you try that on a low carb diet.)

        • overgrownhobbit

          Any chance of divvying up your pills into little boxes with the date & time on top? might help keep track.

  5. Anesthesia can mess you up for a while. Combine that with the residuals from the pain meds, constant pain despite the meds, poor sleep because of the pain, upset stomach from all the meds… This too shall pass.

  6. At our house, reading all the For Better or for Worse comic compilations would be in order. Being as we’re non-typical Americans and only because husband insists on it is there even a tv in the house. After that we reread novels.

    Mom and I aren’t much on pain meds, but I’ve managed to avoid any sort of surgery thus far. After Mom’s hip replacement last summer, when she was past the sleep every moment she wasn’t doing physical therapy stage, she went through Hillerman, Christie, and Hayer, and every children’s book her grandchildren wanted read aloud. (She refused anything stronger than ibuprofen after three days.)

    This may or may not be helpful with #10, but at least it’s different.

    • If you have the Complete Calvin and Hobbes this is a good time to revisit those old friends. While I cannot recommend running out and buying them, such comic strip classics as Thimble Theatre —

      — which brought Popeye to the world and is a hilariously acerbic adventure (especially an extended sequence during which Bernice the Whiffle Hen* is introduced and the (then) lead spends a month attempting to kill the critter), Terry & the Pirates (especially the first year in which, as if in a time-lapse film, you can see Caniff’s evolution from barely serviceable to master of the form, or even vintage Peanuts and/or B.C. (Wizard of Id) compilations.

      Others might endorse Bloom County, Pogo or Li’l Abner but the primary virtue of such material is that their episodic nature is highly agreeable to the limitations imposed by the recovering body.

      *Bernice the Whiffle Hen:
      “A mysterious bird given to Castor Oyl by his uncle Lubry Kent, Bernice dodged Castor’s every attempt to rid himself of her, having grown attached to her master. He then found out about her true powers: she would grant luck to anyone who rubbed her feathers. So Castor set sail to Dice Island, where a legendary casino stood, meeting and hiring Popeye to man the ship he bought. During the trip both Popeye and Castor obtained luck from rubbing Bernice, and millions were won upon arriving at the casino. On the way back Popeye, having been shot multiple times by the evil casino manager, kept rubbing Bernice’s feathers for “luck” and eventually recovered. It is unclear if his miraculous recovery owed to Bernice’s powers or to his formidable constitution, which he was not yet aware of.

      Bernice would remain at Castor’s side until, during a trip to Africa, she met a male of her species and chose to leave with him.”

  7. 1- my memory is getting worse.
    With numerous relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s/dementia, this bothers me.
    10- If Racing was easier to stream, and a few Discovery and History shows ended (And TopGear is ending an era so that might already be ‘ended’) I’d not even watch TV
    Buffy. iirc My Dad’s cousin directed the pilot and a few other episodes of Buffy as well as the spin-off. Yeah, he’s a leftoid for the most part. His Dad was pretty much a commie. He’s also responsible for Air Bud and Dolphin’s Tail

    • I could forgive him for being a leftist.
      I could forgive him for being involved with Buffy–not that I think it was that bad, but it’s quite overrated.
      I cannot forgive him for Air bud.

      • never seen it. Nor any of the Buffy stuff. Nor Tails.
        Actually the last thing of his I watched was Boris And Natasha
        Much of that had inside jokes to my family (character names and the quote “Damned Kalisheks” especially),
        btw this is Toad from American Graffiti I’m talking about

  8. Most of this I can relate to especially when I try to recall the year I was on high prednisone (100 mg) and IV Cytoxan. I definitely had to have a minder because I used to dream of taking pills and overdosing. We ended up at an ER when I insisted I had taken too many Xanax, which was prescribed to me at the time because I was showing high anxiety.

    Somethings that happened I do not even want to remember or have a sheen of plastic wrapped around them because my brain was definitely not working. When the prednisone was being reduced because I had a real bad reaction to the high dosages, I would have to ask my hubby if my logic was sound. The result is that my brain still doesn’t work like it did before my illness and I have always made leaps of logic that I had to backtrack… However now, I can’t backtrack so I distrust myself… or I believe others logic over my own. It is hard to live that way since I had such a good brain before.

    Hugs, I won’t say that the medications won’t damage something… but you have my full sympathies. (and I can even empathize.)

    • Plus I couldn’t write more than 100 words at a sitting. I couldn’t even watch TV shows without acting them out in my own life. AND, my late-hubby realized that it was a good idea to sit me in front of the computer and play puzzle games. Actually the puzzle games (like tetris etc) helped my brain to restart.

    • It’s been suggested that people on prednisone have a big P put on their forehead with indelible marker. Before she learned proper (for her) dosing, Judy painted the boatyard bathroom red and hung curtains with a staple gun one evening after midnight.
      Proper dosing avoids this extreme, but still, the house is seldom as clean as when she is doing a course of prednisone.

    • My story of the joy of medication was 4 years ago, I was taking a trans-Atlantic cruise with my Dad, when (on the second day out) I encountered a sub-mandibular protozoic infection (Ludwig’s syndrome). The diverted the ship to Bermuda (which the parts I could see out of the ICU window seemed very nice.)
      Now, the first 3 days, I could not swallow, so no pills. When I recovered enough to take medicines, since this is a British hospital, they don’t have an in-depth understandings of American’s fetish for psychotropic drugs, so I got reasonable substitutes for everything except Zoloft. This is not a medicine to ‘cold turkey’ off of. By the fourth day, they could tell I was ‘upset’, because my pulse, respiration and blood pressure were incredibly elevated from normal. That and my increasing propensity to drop the “F-bomb” word (having started out unfailingly polite). Actually, they were lucky, as I tend to start throwing things when irritated.
      Fortunately, between my Brother, their Pharmacologist and a night nurse from San Diego, they decided their ‘policy’ of providing all medications could be waived for my Zoloft prescription.
      I was never so happy to see the Atlanta airport. In the days that followed, I felt like my brain had been opened and scrambled. I am reasonably sure that I was able to put all the broken pieces back where they belong… but what if I put one in sideways? How can you tell?

      • … what if I put one in sideways?

        I am generally more concerned over a) the bits that are left over after reassembly and/or b) the fact that the reassembled mass seems larger and heavier.

      • You can’t tell. You’ll have to ask someone you trust. and I am being dead serious.

      • The Other Sean

        I’m far happier NOT seeing the Atlanta airport. In each direction on the same trip to a cousin’s wedding, I got stuck in that airport for a total of over twelve hours, when I was supposed to have a 75 minute layover in once case and a 90 minute layover in the other. There were no major weather or operation problems around the nation, but Air Tran and Atlanta airport totally made life miserable.

        On the outward leg of the trip, Air Tran kept feeding BS about a plane being available in an hour, so we couldn’t want to run off and have a real meal. We didn’t even grab fast food, because we were supposed to attend the rehearsal dinner, and even with the initial hour delay we’d have made it in time. And then they announced they’d have a plane in about 90 minutes, when the first replacement plane failed to materialized, so we settled for a light snack from fast food, figuring we’d grab real food at our destination. Instead, the second replacement plane never materialized. We reached the destination airport around 1 AM, but it took an eternity to get off the plane and collect our luggage, because it was so late and they didn’t have enough airport staff available, so it was darn near 2 AM by the time we collected our luggage. At which time our car rental agency reported that despite our reservation, no car would be available until some were returned in the morning. We had a two hour drive to our destination, and the airport hotel was full. So I spent about three hours sleeping fitfully on an airport bench, the wakings mostly caused by all those darn announcements that due to heightened security concerns, all luggage was subject to search and all unattended luggage would be confiscated. We finally got a car around 7 AM and got to our hotel around 9 AM and got another 3 hours (this time restful) sleep before having to get cleaned up and go to a wedding.

        The return trip thankfully lacked the wait for a rental car, but did involve not reaching home until about 1 AM, all thanks to an extra 4 hours in the Atlanta airport on the way back. And thanks to all the security BS, there’s no place to simply lock up your luggage and take a walk. We had to do it in shifts; two could take walks while one watched the luggage. But they couldn’t be very long, fulfilling walks because what if the luggage-watcher had to visit the restroom? I hate the Atlanta airport. Did I mention that?

        Adding insult to injury, the marriage lasted like less than a year. It felt like the trip to the wedding and back lasted longer.

        I took two lessons away from this:
        1. Don’t fly Air Tran.
        2. Don’t fly through Atlanta.

        • 3. Don’t Fly American Aeroflot I mean Airways. The famous three day trip tour of the US on our way back from Liberty con… 7? years ago was courtesy them. And it would have been longer, if I hadn’t lost patience and looked like I was coming over the counter at the ticket counter chick.

        • Well, after a week in a foreign hospital, I was just glad to be back where I could see American Doctors.
          My Atlanta horror story was a flight so late that we had no meal since lunch, and the only place still open was Denny’s. A co-worker complained her soup tasted like Campbell’s. I responded, Susan, it is a Denny’s, Campbell’s soup would be an improvement.

          • To be fair, I’m one of those idiots who kisses American soil on landing back home after a trip abroad.
            Always gets me weird looks.

          • The reason the second coming hash;t happened is that Christ couldn’t book a flight that didn’t go through Frankfurt, Chicago, and Atlanta. There are two rumors;

            1) He put his foot down, saying “If I can’t go direct, the hell with it. I’ve BEEN crucified.


            2) He’s lost somewhere, and his luggage got sent to Bangkok.

            • I have had a couple of plane changes in Frankfurt, a few decades ago. Neither went smooth. I presume it has gotten even worse now, as back then the security theater was a bit more spare version than it seems to be now. 😀

              • Frankfurt IS h*ll, when you are a parent totting two exhausted toddlers. TRUST me.

              • I was coming back to the US from Germany (stationed 20 miles west of Frankfurt), aboard one of the contract “airlines” the US military uses. My wife was already back in the States with our daughter, and I was flying alone. We had just started accelerating down the runway when the #1 engine shredded. We all (280+ men, women and children) spent 24 hours in the Frankfurt Hilton, then caught the same aircraft. The new engine worked long enough to get us to Shannon, Ireland. We spent about eight hours on the ground (in the terminal), then got on another aircraft and started toward the States. Got as far as Bangor, ME, and had an unexpected four-hour layover. I still have no idea what that one was about. At least they let us off the aircraft and fed us lunch. Finally, we flew the rest of the way to McGuire AFB, NJ. Then there was the long bus ride to Philadelphia, and the flight to Denver. All in all, I think I spent three days either in aircraft or airports.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I’ve heard that the Devil avoids flying through the Atlanta airport. [Wink]

        • Oh, wow. I haven’t flow since ’96 so I’ve missed all the security “enhancements.” (I had a job interview in northern Alabama.) My problem with Hartsfield-Jackson is that when I would go pick up an Army buddy there I would get lost leaving or go looking for him in the wrong concourse.

          Is Air Tran now called Jet Blue?

  9. When I am sick, holding my eyes open in front of the TV is a temporary condition. Which is why I could end up watching obscure sports on ESPN. Audio actually keeps me awake some, when sick.

    But if you are running out of fiction on Overdrive or Librivox or other audio book sources, you could always hit up Fr. Pacwa’s zillion part audio version of his TV series on the OT prophets, which is on EWTN’s audio library for download, and streaming on YouTube. It is a college course focusing on the historical and literal, although it does dip into Christological readings. And if you doze off, you can always just go back to the parts you missed. The fairly frequent break music .might wake you up, though.

  10. Some reactions;

    2) Having a 16 lb cat jump on you suddenly can ALWAYS cause major damage. Especially if you jerk in reaction and he responds by digging his pitons in.

    3) it took me the first half of my marriage to drive home to my Lady that her urge to reorganize the kitchen I use every day and she uses occasionally was massively unhelpful.

    6) I know. It sucks.

    7b) My Mother told me that for years her biggest problem with dating was that young men always thought that if she got drunk enough to lose her inhibitions she would bed them, whereas in fact if she lost her inhibitions they were going to spend the rest of the evening with her up on a table declaiming Shakespeare hill they hid in the mens’ room.

    9) Based on what I read elsewhere, staying off of Facebook sounds like a good idea at all times. One I’ve managed to maintain for eleven years. Yes, I’m boasting.

    10) I pretty much stopped watching TV about a quarter century ago, though I dip into series on DVD from time to time. Thus far I haven’t run into anything that tempts me to catch up with the episodes as they are broadcast. The closes anyone has come is AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., and that wasn’t very close.

    The big break for me, the one that pretty much insures I won’t be back, was the change to season long story arcs. I read very fast. I read THE LORD OF THE RINGS in a single night (admittedly I was 180 lbs of condemned veal the next day). So video is, for me, a horribly inefficient way of transferring information.

    aside; this has to do with the reason it is possible to film a Victorian novel and not possible to film a modern novel. A Victorian (or Edwardian) novel will spend pages on description; landscapes, clothes, etc.. A camera handles that very quickly. A modern novel spends a much higher percentage of its pages on conversation, action, and introspection. The first two a camera has to deal with on a one minute to one minute basis. And cameras and actors don’t handle introspection at ALL well. Voice-over only works occasionally and is most often more annoying than not, and the number of cinema actors able to convey inner thoughts of any complexity WITHOUT voice over can be counted on the fingers of one stump.

    I basically stopped even trying much when everybody raved at me about X-FILES, and it made me giggle. I read ILLUMINATUS when I was 18, and so conspiracy theories strike me as more comic than not. I have an extensive DVD collection, most of it utter trash, so I can’t pretend I don’t watch TV because I’m too highbrow. Hell, I like Godzilla movies. That’s as lowbrow as it gets. I just want to see a good performance (rare) or an original idea (rarer) or some real laughs (anyone seen a really funny sitcom since NIGHT COURT? I haven’t heard of any. I consider all the Terrebly Terrebly Clever (you have to imagine that said by somebody who makes double Rs into almost Ds) animated series (I’m looking at YOU, SIMPSONS) grotesque, obvious, trashy, tiresome, and vulgar. And that’s OK. A lot of totally fine people undoubtedly feel the same way about the things I like. But I still don’t want to watch Bart Simpson do much of anything.

    So I watch my old AVENGERS DVDs a lot. And WILD WILD WEST. And THE MAN FROM UNCLE. And a lot of Kung Fu movies for the fight scenes, which are frequently almost as funny as the Marx Brothers.

    I think I hear my copy of FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS calling me……..

    • 7 – one of my exes tried to get me drunk for the same reason. It didn’t go well. He ended up in high snit.

    • A funny sitcom post Night Court? Definitions of “funny” tend to vary greatly. I recently picked up the complete Wings at Sam’s Club for something like $20 and am hoping it lives up to memories, but figure Tony Shaloub alone is worth the expenditure of time & money. Have you tried News Radio? I confess it’s been a while since I watched it, but recall some degree of amusement derived therefrom.

      Of course, for truly great situation comedy you have to go Brit-coms. The only problem is that shows such as Black Adder, Yes, Minister (and its sequel) and others are so packed with humour that it requires multiple watchings to fully grasp all the funny. The Brits also are masters of low-brow comedy, with such fare as Allo’ Allo’, Are You Being Served? and Good Neighbors to feed your appetite for painfully amusing.

      • One of the things I realized a while ago about British TV is that we lack a hell of a lot of context, and so react very differently than its intended audience.

        Example; I started being pushed to watch MONTY PYTHON while still in middle school. I never really took to it, for personal reasons to complicate to explain (or even understand), but I took it to be an exercise in surrealism (which didn’t help my opinion; Schofield’s Iron Law of Narrative: Surrealism is tolerable in a narrative art form for five pages or fifteen minutes, whichever comes first). One sketch that stuck in my mind was the “Ascent of South High Street” or come such, with the camera on its side, and the actors lying on a sidewalk and driving pitons and rigging rope just as if it were a cliff face. Cute idea for a quick shot, but monumentally boring for anything linger than a three count.

        Then I saw some British television in the middle 1970’s (my Father was in England going over some family papers that the Wedgewood family were releasing for scholarship). And damned if there wasn’t a mountain climbing documentary that was pretty much shot for shot and fake vole over gasp for fake voiceover gasp the twin of that MONTY PYTHON sketch. Python wasn’t surreal. It was actually fairly subtle satire of a surreal British Television landscape.

        but I still have scant interest in Python. Personal Taste. Glad they happened. Don’t want to watch.

        • Monty Python isn’t as funny as their predecessors on The Goon Show and those Forties people whom I can’t remember. But yeah, the more British stuff you follow, the funnier they get.

          • They need editing. The Mr. Creosote sketch is a case in point. Everybody I’ve ever asked remembers the exchange as:



            “Better get a bucket” full stop.

            When in fact it’s “Better get a bucket, I’m going to be sick.”

            The shorter version is better. Obviously better. Why that slipped by the ensemble baffles me.

          • Those 40s people like Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan?

        • It was actually fairly subtle satire of a surreal British Television landscape.

          but I still have scant interest in Python.

          “I will go watch a satire of a show I’ve never seen, and don’t want to see”?

      • I remember watching ‘Allo ‘Allo as a preteen. And Father Ted. Had fun with that.

    • BTW: How does Wild Wild West stand up across time? I have some very fond memories of re-runs viewed in the Eighties (and from original viewings in the Sixties) but have found such old production values frequently cause shudders to modern eyes.

      • It does OK. Some episodes are better than others. The actors are pretty decent overall, and Michael Dunn is great. The fights are a little hard to take seriously, even though they were a lot better than the standard for the time.

    • PET PEEVE ALERT—— about the latest Godzilla movie. can not the idiots in la la land understand that in a Godzilla movie Godzilla is the STAR!!!!!!!!
      he stomps, he dances, he wiggles his butt. he maybe the good guy, he maybe the villain, but it is his movie.
      note: I read somewhere that studio that made the first ones have taking back permission and will start remaking themselves.
      and sarah… having been under the knife, three times (last time, open heart surgery 6 bypasses) this to will pass. last time I watched Craig Fergason which helped

      • I just recently saw the US version of Godzilla vs King Kong, on the “Svengoolie” show Saturday nights on MeTV. It was really pretty decent, although the Svengoolie segments helped (and he provided factual explanations of some of the really bizarre bits, as well as the typical horror host silliness).

      • I actually liked it fairly well. Nobody’s done a “don’t show them the Big Guy until the last act, ’cause he’s the Deus we’re pulling out of our Machina” Godzilla for a while, and it was overdue. But I like ’em all, even the notorious ones like GODZILLA VS. BIOLANTE.

        • If you are talking about the US version from about 15020 years ago, it is the only one I’ve watched, but I thought it was one of the better movies I’ve watched in the last fifteen years. In fact I’ve watched it three or four times over the years.

      • Hold out for Gamera! Nothing beats the flying fire-farting turtle of justice!

  11. Sarah I have some tv series on DVD that you might not find online. Farscape, Nikita(original), old Avengers (Diana Rigg), and all of the Babylon 5 including the movies.

    • I’m sure we have them too — Dan watches that stuff — um…. no.

      • Watching Firefly is a handy short-term activity. Adam Baldwin alone justifies watching all of Chuck.

        Think of it as chewing gum for the eyes.

        • I was thinking along the lines of Yvonne Strahovski making Chuck worth watching… but we all have different tastes.

          • There are many reasons, each individually sufficient, for watching Chuck — Baldwin, Strahovski, Levi, Scott Bakula, Timothy Dalton, Linda Hamilton, Brandon Routh, even the extended Vik Sahay & Scott Krinsky sub-plot. Sadly, it’s having been forever on the tenterhooks of cancellation make some of the story arcs a trifle awkward.

      • Ooh, how about Justice League Unlimited? (Animated.)

        It’s not painful like normal TV, but if I remember the Scrooge McDuck comics correctly, it shouldn’t be too much brain power.

    • B5 is available on Amazon.

  12. I’m still recovering from a concussion so I understand the memory problems. Get well soon.

    • Oh, yeah. Concussion (15 years ago) was FUN.

      • y’know, I was concussed multiple times as a girl (bunk bed over hard floor, falling off a horse, falling out of a tree. I never *broke* anything, though). I sometimes wonder if it affected me.

        • Look where you’re commenting. Next question. *g*

        • ***snerkle***
          No, no. Not in the least.
          ***runs away in a random avoidance pattern***

        • Some people have different definitions of broken.


        • I MAY have been concussed once, but I didn’t tell anyone how hard I hit my head. It was an uncontrolled bounce on a trampoline (I was doing consecutive backflips and over-rotated, so that I couldn’t keep from bouncing backwards), and I landed relatively flat, except the back of my head hit the wooden side board. I was dizzy, unsteady on my feet, and somewhat nauseous for an hour or so.

          • But I had a really bad memory and was pretty much bent even before that. 🙂

          • I was seriously concussed once. I seem to have emerged from it with a) more artistic talent than before b) MUCH calmer than before.
            My older son says we should figure what, specifically, I injured.

            • I’ve been whacked in the head many times, but never concussed that was verified. Even when I fell backwards on my parents’ bed when i was 2 and whacked my head on the footboard.

              I gots a HARD haid.

              • Mine was verified by eye doctor and family doctor. Not ER who thought I was just fine while I was fighting hard not to throw up and everything was going up and down around me.

                • You REALLY have a bad time with hospital doctors, don’t you?

                  • Yes. Though older son, who works as an ER scribe explained why: “Heuristics. I’ve worked in ER enough to be skeptical of any Latin woman coming in with any claims of severe injury. It’s not fair, it’s just heuristics.” And if you add in novelist and immigrant, it probably doesn’t help.

                    • Blink…blink. O…K…

                      I’m not constructed in such a way as to understand this. I live in a backward part of the country that does not have a large Latin population. Also, I have a hard enough time understanding that some people simply lie in general, let alone that a particular demographic would tend to lie about such things as their health. Well, unless they’re trying to score pain medicines to sell, I guess.

                    • It’s kind of like how there are groups of guys where if they admit to hurting, at all, you drag them to the hospital right now. And take away their car keys.

                      My mom probably would have died, because when she called the doctor’s office about her leg hurting, the nurse looked at her chart and said “50-something year old woman, history of surgery, long list of family medical problems, not a lot of hospital admittance….” and told her it was normal.
                      What she should have been doing is going “it’s a really busy time of year, she’s a rancher, and she’s admitting it hurts. Time to flip out and get her to the hospital, DO NOT LET HER DRIVE HERSELF.” (which, third call and a week later, is what the doctor who happened to be walking past did)

                    • My dad was pretty much like that. He didn’t go to the hospital unless there was bleeding he couldn’t stop easily (like when he nearly cut his arm off with a circular saw), or when he sat on the ladder with his foot under it, and the ankle was bent 90 degrees wrong when he got the ladder off of it, or when he had been putting up with the abdominal aneurism for a long time (that time, they barely found out what was wrong in time, because it ruptured just after he came out of the CT scan).

                    • I fall more in your mom’s demographic, but because I present “Latin” that means they think it’s really just a hang nail. When I smashed my finger flat (long story) including the bone, they triaged me at the bottom and were VISIBLY contemptuous. Until they x-rayed. Then they went “How come you aren’t screaming and crying?” Yeah.

                    • I think part of it is that your background is a lot closer to my mom’s, too, even if they were totally different countries.

                      Hospitals are serious.

                      Other folks seem to use them as a means of getting reassurance that they’re valued (on one side) or silencing those horrible “but what if…?” questions that are so annoying. (I can understand, a bit, hypochondria. What I can’t understand is actually going to a doctor about it instead of just laying awake worrying sometimes!)

                    • I hate hospitals. I don’t hate doctors, but they exasperate me a bit, usually by doing MORE than I want them to, or just “Why are you doing that?” type of stuff.

                    • No, it’s more like — and I understand this from my mom and other female relatives — most Latin women need DRAMA. Mostly, they lie to themselves.
                      I probably need it too, but I put it in my fiction.

                    • Ah, ok. Drama, I can understand.

              • I’ve had a total of 26 stitches in my head before I was 16, usually three at a time. One time I fell off a swing. One time my brother hit me in the head with a claw hammer. Don’t know about concussions, but the back of my head looks like a plowed field.

  13. Totally and completely understand. I’m still writing off various eccentricities, restlessness, lethargy, forgetfulness, clumsiness, lack of will-power and self-control and motivation, crabbiness, distractedness, and so on, to a minor bit of surgery to remove a naughty appendix last August. When that started to become questionable, I conveniently developed vertigo after flying back from Hawaii last month which persists to this day, so that has become my excuse for loopiness and general weirdness.

  14. When your father introduced you as his daughter who did not like TV, did it ever cause an immediate proposal of marriage?

    Colonel Cooper used to practice dry firing at his TV. He blogged that this violated Rule 2, then corrected himself and blogged that it didn’t.

    • No! Most people in Portugal love TV (like most people everywhere, I guess.)
      During election season the rule is I can’t come within throw-shot of the TV with shoes on, or carrying books.

      • We have now lived in this house for 7 months, I think. Peter insisted on getting the TV set up. (I won it in a drawing in 2013, I think? and I hadn’t unboxed it. But we gave away our other TV when we moved.) We even got an antenna, because we wanted to see if it’d work. We still haven’t set up the DVD player. I’m not sure which box it’s in. Or if we gave it away? But we did turn it on, twice, to make sure it works, and that it works with the antenna.

        Sooner or later, I want to do a nice movie night with Peter, on our couch, with buttered popcorn (because why stop at the artificial flavouring if you’re going to cheat on low carb?) and rewatch BBC Earth with David Attenborough. Of course, first I’d have to find the DVD player. Maybe next year. Maybe next move.

        • If Attenborough is your cup of treacle, you likely would enjoy:
          The Making Of A Continent DVD Set Complete TV Series 2 Discs
          UPC 640671526067 $14.49

          The Making Of A Continent DVD Set Complete TV Series 2 Discs

          14.49 USD. Free Shipping Worldwide!
          The Complete 1983 BBC/WTTV Chicago Co-production Chronicling The Birth And Development Of The North American Continent! All Six Hour Episodes Packed Into 2 Dual Layer All Regions DVDs

          We caught it back when A&E was still living up to its name of Arts and Entertainment (instead of whatever they think those letters stand for these days — Awfulness & Excrement, parhaps?

          While I canna recommend getting cable or dish just for the limited use of this, CSPAN2 (broadcasting the Senate when in session) has weekend programming which consists of nothing but authors of non-fiction books (typically History and Politics — suhprize suhprize) doing stand-up presentations in book stores and other venues promoting their wares. Once a month they even have a full three hours of authors such as Victor Davis Hanson and Mark Steyn discussing their work with an interviewer. (Be advised, they usually alternate between Right & Left, so you tune in the wrong month and what you get is Noam Chomsky.) They offer an extensive online library of their programming, so if streaming suits you there is that.

        • If it has an HDMI connection, and you watch anything on your desktop at all, see about connecting it to a computer.

          That’s what our kids do their computer lessons and games on– avoids the eye-strain issue, too. I’m trying to get my folks set up with our old TV. (Worked fine if only adults were involved, was about a week from death with the kids.)

          • My TV IS my monitor. That and a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse makes it relatively easy to write from the recliner. Although I still need to finish my desk project, which would be a table that slides over the recliner and includes an angled keyboard tray.

            • So… one of those rolling desk trays, but more stable?

              • And overbuilt, in the family tradition.

                Currently I have either a lap-board, which is good for typing but bad for the mouse, or a TV tray, which leaves me sitting on the edge of the recliner, which is totally opposite of the point.

  15. My men have really weird ideas of where things go in the kitchen.

    Or anywhere else, if they’re like mine.

    We had a toilet roll holder that kept being pulled off because we hadn’t gotten drywall screws for it yet. My husband put it in, to him, a perfectly reasonable place….

    I suppose on top of the bookself full of boxed books is reasonable. It was eyelevel to him. My own fault we couldn’t find it, I didn’t look a foot over my head and behind the other half-dozen things set there…..


    (He has the exact same complaint– simply can’t understand the perfect logic of the baby’s sippy cup bottoms being in the drawer by the back door, the lids to the left of the stove, and the straws on the right of the fridge, above the water dispenser. Men! 😉 )

    • *growl* The men in my household get growled at if they do silly things like that. Aff just tells me to grow taller. Rhys looks cute and picks me up, so my spine goes poppoppop and I forget what I was grumpy about.

    • I asked for a load plan the last time I was blessed out for not knowing where stuff went after the kitchen was re-arranged. I haven’t gotten one yet.

      Oh, Sarah, check for audio books. I downloaded one of the Oz books. It was a computer reading but was mostly OK.

  16. 7a- I need a minder because I can never remember when I last took the meds I’m supposed to be on. That one of these falls in the night is a problem, as I often dream I took it. I’m counting pills a lot.

    A pill case, a note pad and a really obnoxious alarm can help with this.
    I recently found my notes… it’s either my medication tables, or an elaborate code.

    • Oooh! Next home repair job, wall them up with a paperclip chain and stuffed in an old shoe. It will drive the archeologists *nuts*!

      • *giggle* *giggle* BWAHAHAHAHA! You, dear lady, are evil.

        • Oh dear.

          My house was first built in 1908. The things I found in the walls, the fireplaces, the foundations, the attic…

          Best was the Easter Egg. Literally, a plastic Easter Egg. In the wall, behind an old, defunct outlet that hadn’t been powered up in thirty years at least. *Nobody* was getting that egg. Until I found it.

          Also, several old shoes. Left ones. I did not check for notes. The recipe book was useful, though- but why it went in the attic, I have no idea. Ditto the pipe wrench, conveniently still attached to the cast iron pipes on the first floor…

          Renovation is an education. Sometimes, an education in *what,* we don’t ask. But we’re learning! *grin*

      • Huh? Doesn’t everybody?

    • Yes, an alarm on the smart phone is extremely helpful. Or one of those pill boxes with gazillions of sections. My daughter found that very helpful when she was on three times a day stuff.

      Years ago when my grandmother’s idiot GP had her on tons of meds, every morning she would put a paper towel on the kitchen counter with all her meds for the day laid out on it with the time to take them written underneath. Admittedly she lived alone and didn’t have a cat to decide those little round things or the paper they were on looked like a great toy.

      • At some pont I’m going to give in to the temptation to put a day’s meds and suppliments into a bowl, slice a banana over them, cover with milk, and eat as I would cereal.

        • That sounds like like my lunch time batch with the vitamins thrown in. But I can guarantee that a day’s worth of gaba would be interesting for everyone else, but not so much for me. The first time I was on it, the ER doc didn’t explain about titrating up to 600 twice a day, and the state I was in I wasn’t reading well, so that’s what I took when I got home at about 10pm. I didn’t dare drive a car until after 2 the next after noon. After being on it for six months, I can finally take 300 at a time and be reasonably coherent. But even at that lower dose, it’s done absolute wonders for the frequency and severity of my migraines. Now if it would just work on the peripheral neuropathy and tinnitus….

      • my Mom’s uncle got sick once and was in a near vegetative state for years. If you spoon fed him he ate, and if he sat still for a minute he was asleep, and on a good day he might mumble something nearly coherent.
        This state of affairs lasted years. Then his doctor died and his new one looked at his meds and freaked. Demanded to know why the pharmacy didn’t say anything and dropped almost all the meds … in weeks he retook his driving test and was as normal as before the illness.
        He recalls the 80’s and 90’s as just being really tired and wanting to sleep. His forced exercise sessions were a bad dream or torture depending on his state of mind.
        Sadly, not long after coming back, someone ran a stop sign and killed him.

        • Oh yes, meds can do that to you. And especially as you get older some meds don’t work as well, and others have a much longer half life, and they can all interact so basically the fewer you can take the better.

          After the idiot GP moved his geriatric practice to the second floor of a non-ADA-complaint building without telling anyone until after it happened (Nana had had an appointment on Wednesday and got the card in the mail on Friday that they were going to be at the new location on Monday; she was very annoyed that no one told her since they had to have known about it when she was there) we got her to see a real cardiologist (she’d already had two heart attacks) and the “nice young man” (in his 50s at that point) found out that a) she was too ill for any of the surgical interventions she would have needed, and that b) she didn’t want them anyway, she just wanted to feel less awful until the good Lord took her home, so he took her off all but two meds for palliative care, and let her eat whatever she wanted (idiot had put her on a no-salt, no-fat diet, she couldn’t taste a thing). Her last 4 months were much more pleasant than the previous few years.

          • Some doctors also the “drug them to death” method, where the idea is to make the patient manageable and then neglect them to death.

            • Sounds like the Liverpool Care Pathway.

              • That’s one of the formalized verisons, yes.


                • Thankfully that wasn’t my grandmother’s case; her doctor was just incompetent. She’d been seeing him for decades; 40 years earlier he’d misdiagnosed my father’s mild heart murmer as a left over of rheumatic fever, and for the first two years of high school Dad wasn’t allowed to participate in any sports. Dad’s now nearly 80 so I guess his heart wasn’t that bad.

  17. *waves in passing* You can’t be as scattered as the kids (and a few adults) I’m with this weekend: “But I was told to come here, and I also need to be there, and I’ve got to get my costume ready [for a contest in four hours].” State Latin (and classical Greek) Tournament – there’s no nerds like Classics Nerds. (And I have the area and state medals to prove it.) 😀 *trots off again*

  18. I completely understand #10. I have no idea who stars in what, be it TV or movies. I have the TV on for background noise when I’m spinning yarn or picking through mohair. I watch the news for awhile, until I want to throw a goat at the TV, then I turn on HGTV and feel horrible because my house looks like one of those junky houses that they buy for next to nothing on one of those flip it shows.

    I have dreams that the Property Brothers would take pity on me and make our house have storage space and room for the occasional goat to wander through. I find that watching TV makes me feel bad about myself. I don’t really watch sitcoms, anymore, they seem to be pushing political viewpoints that I don’t like.

    So, feel better soon, but don’t push it.

  19. Glad you are recovering. It is definitely a Sarah recovery, a detailed logical chart on how your brain is not behaving logically. Cat movies? The only cat movies with the cat as a title character are “Rubarb” (about baseball) and two versions of “That Darn Cat.”



    • The Cat from Outer Space (Disney)

      • I think it unreasonable to limit this to movies starring cats — there are movies with cats in featured roles that merit mention, after all. Such as Pyewacket in Bell, Book and Candle, or the two Siamese from Lady and the Tramp, (although the PC Police may have blocked that.)

        But there are plenty of films featuring cats in leading roles:
        The Cat from Outer Space, The Aristocats, Cat People, Gay Purr-ee, The Black Cat, Pinocchio, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Harry and Tonto, and Born Free, to name just a few. There is also a memorable role for a cat in the film adaptation of Fritz Leiber’s classic Conjure Wife, 1962’s Burn, Witch, Burn!. In similar vein, try 1977’s The Uncanny.

        One interesting sounding film —

        Gu Gu the Cat
        Asako, a comic book artist in her early forties, is devastated by the death of her precious cat, Saba, which kept her company for over 15 years, as her assistant Naomi watches on with concern. Naomi is a young woman in her early twenties, who has her set of worries about love and future. Then one day, Asako meets a new cat, Goo-goo, which brings new joy and vitality to her life. What is more, she finds potential for love in a man named Seiji. Like Asako, Naomi, too, embarks on a new life plan. Inudou Isshin: Born in 1960. Made his debut into the film world in 1998, heading the writing team for director Ichikawa Jun’s film, . In 1999, he made his directorial debut with . He also wrote the screenplay for the great hit film, . In 2003, he won the Best New Director Award for . He is renowned for capturing the ordinary with his remarkable and prodigious directing style

        — appears to be unavailable through Amazon. Dang.

        The less said about Fritz the Cat, the better.

      • I remember reading that book as a kid, but don’t really remember it, or that they made a movie.

    • There is also “The Cat from Outer Space.” It’s a fun little Disney flick.

    • They recently had a Grumpy Cat movie.

    • Ghosts in the Darkness.

      What? The cats are main characters.

  20. Sarah, I had to laugh at your TV antipathy! You and I must be related somehow! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who hates to watch TV — most people I know think I’m nuts. I’ve gotten used to listening to it, because my youngest daughter (Cedar’s little sister) can’t read, so she watches videos all day long. I choose stuff for her that I can stand to listen to — thankfully it’s also what she likes best (science, animals, how-to, travel documentaries, history, a few children’s things like the Charlie Brown she’s watching right now).

  21. Create a spreadsheet for your pills. Put a check in the box when you take it. Worked for me.

  22. So there’s no way we’re getting #11 if we’re very , very, Baaad?

  23. I am not really a video or television watcher. I did discover Pandora.
    I started telling people about it and then got asked to what I was listening to.
    Apparently not everyone likes a mix of swing, techno and klezmer.

    Hope you are feeling better. Recovering from surgery trying to heal is tedious.

    • Had to quit Pandora. No matter where I started, the durn thing would drift to AC/DC. When it got there from Jimmy Buffett, I decided it was no use.

      • Rob Crawford

        “No matter where I started, the durn thing would drift to AC/DC.”

        Not “Queens Greatest Hits”?

      • “. No matter where I started, the durn thing would drift to AC/DC. ”

        I’m failing to see the problem.

        • I was using it for shop music. Some jobs, AC/DC is okay. Other jobs, it just leads to broken parts and starting over.

    • Swing, techno and klezmer? You need a little Conjunto in that mix, to give it spice.

      • Paolo Conte, and Cumbia for spice.
        Italian lawyer serenading stadiums with Kazoos, and that tropical beat.

        Yes, I seem to have something for accordions. Don’t judge.

        • There was a time when Beloved Spouse & I realized our playlist was largely comprised of Celtic bands, Klezmer groups, Quebecois combos, Zydeco consorts and Norteno/Conjunto ensembles. I turned to Beloved SPouse and observed that, not long before, we would have laughed at anybody predicting our musical preferences would become accordions and tuba bands. Life takes strange turns.

    • Radio Paradise
      See the playlist here
      Everything from Vivaldi to Leonard Cohen to Pink Floyd, to Bat For Lashes, to Dengue Fever to …well you get the idea. They take Eclectic seriously.

  24. Well, I did not recover from surgery in a movie coma. I recommend children’s books and lots of sleep. (My favorite was The 13 Clocks by James Thurber.)

  25. I suggest taking a copy of “Stranger In A Strange Land” and make it as much stranger as you can; and maybe just write this out of your system.

  26. Most tv has embedded Marxist messages which most of you might not get. But I was bitten by Marxist dialectic early in life. So I see them. And then I want to throw stuff through the TV. Besides the fact this would make Dan sad, think what it would do to my incisions.

    For folks thinking that she’s imagining it– study mythology, or classic lit, or a highly symbolic religion like Catholicism for a while.
    My husband is shocked at how many elements of Catholic theology he’s finding in various shows he’s watched a dozen times before.

    • The problem: it has to be something that you are not currently familiar with, or you won’t have the same “oh, wow!” reaction, because you have to watch something you’re currently familiar with.

      • Foxfier, can you recommend something on the symbols of the Saints, please? Specifically as used in art. I used to know this when I was little (as young as six) and befuddled my friends by wanting to go to the LA County Art Museum instead of Disneyland, but I was trying to tell my six-year-old how to tell the Apostles, remembered Peter and keys, and couldn’t recall the rest with any certainty.

        • Oooh, I know there’s one somewhere that has the symbols listed on the page, but I ran into this one trying to find it so I’ll share it first:

          And then go back to looking.

        • Here we go:

          out-smarted myself– they don’t all have listings for how the saint is depicted in liturgical art, because they didn’t all have standard symbols.

          I was utterly delighted when I found out that Mary is almost always in blue because of a lovely bit of symbolism with her mantle being used to cover all of “her” children, and that being associated with the sky. From a dream, IIRC, but it’s hardly a totally original bit, vaguely remember some other sky symbolism.

          • Thank you!

          • Terry Sanders

            I read it was because they used the *expensive* paint for her dresses. Lapis lazuli, forsooth…

            • Never heard of that one, and it sound suspicious– if they were going to do that, why not stick with gold?

              Poking around a bit indicates that she’s been in dark blue since at least the 5th century, because they used the color that an empress would wear for the Byzantine representations.

              Other traditions also use blue to indicate a human nature (those are the ones that show Christ in blue and red).

              Blue is a symbol of purity, and — *pauses to take a breath* — the Arc of the Covenant was supposed to be covered with a blue veil when it was outside, so it’s very likely that someone emphasizing that aspect of her as would have it in mind.

              Part of what is so wonderful about symbols is that, whatever your context, you can usually work some in somewhere. The problem is that without context, you can’t identify what they were trying to say.

              I’m sure that some folks chose shades specifically because they were expensive– it’s a traditional way to show something is of great value. A ten dollar pawn shop ring from someone who can’t afford anything more is a lovely symbol of marriage; the same ring from someone who bought themselves one of the new gold iWatches is rather different!

              • maybe it is white and gold and everyone is just photographing it at the wrong color temperature.

              • several of the colors used in classic paintings were ground gemstones. Aquamarine the paint color was literally the gem, ground to a powder and iirc was the priciest of the bunch..

              • cat posted.
                I think it sorta reinforced each other. Those Blues were for purity because to make it cost so flipping much, it was used on “pure” items.

            • Oooh, so glad you mentioned that, though– lead me to a site I hadn’t seen before,, and they’ve got some lovely stuff.

              Apparently lapis lazuli was very commonly used for anything associated with the heavens– which explains the “royal” tradition, which would mean it lead to her being in blue in a lot, and they even mention the “queen of heaven” aspect.

              Too lovely!

  27. try to get a hold of Jack Benny’s radio program. we have some of his on tapes. holds up well over the years, it radio so no problem with your eyes, and it’s Jack Benny… his timing was always perfect/

  28. “Most tv has embedded Marxist messages which most of you might not get. But I was bitten by Marxist dialectic early in life. So I see them. And then I want to throw stuff through the TV.”

    Oh yes, I had Gran Torino recommended by quite a few people, and it has Clint Eastwood in it, it can’t be that bad, can it? I’m still asking myself how my TV survived that movie.

  29. overgrownhobbit

    You might like The Middleman tv series (only 1 season, alas) I’ve always suspected it got the axe because of the sly anti-communist messages. Not a great recovery movie, though, unless like yours truly, you’ve watched it so often that you can quote along with the show.

    For listening to books that you might like: your public library’s audiobook collection. Nigel Planer reading Pratchett, any of the classic Mary Stewart novels, Rosenblatt reading any of the Amelia Peabody books. Most are on CDs though some libraries have downloadable audio books.

  30. Josh Kruschke


  31. I’ve been considered totally disabled because of a chronic pain problem for the last fifteen years. I can totally sympathize with hurting so badly you can’t remember if you took your last dose of medication or not – or if you ate, and what you ate. I just started re-reading a book I purchased three months ago. I don’t remember enough of the book to be comfortable with the plot.

    Having a tinnitus problem, I don’t watch TV or go to movies, and wouldn’t know any actor that hasn’t made a movie or starred in a television show before 1995. It’s not a fun life, and it makes doing anything more difficult. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone!

    Just hang in there, Sarah – you WILL get better!

  32. “Contains live bobcat. Would not order again.”

    This is sooooo going in my tagline file 😀